Pixel Boost: Planescape: Torment at 1440p
Twice a month, Pixel Boost guides you through the hacks, tricks, and mods you'll need to run a classic PC game on Windows 7/8. Each guide comes with a free side of 4K screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: the Nameless One lives (and dies) again.
Obsidian Entertainment's Pillars of Eternity is, essentially, the reincarnation of late-90s Infinity Engine RPGs. Obsidian has captured the look of isometric cRPGs of the early 2000s as we remember them, and nothing drives that point home like playing Planescape: Torment today. It's as well-written and immense as you remember, but you may have to squint to read the UI or find your way around the environment. It takes some work to run Infinity Engine games on modern PCs, but thanks to the amazing fan community, there are great resources for these games more than a decade alter. If you have a hankering to return to the world of Planescape before Torment: Tides of Numenera, though, it can be done. Here's how.
Thanks to Good Old Games, Planescape: Torment is available online for a mere $5, easy to download and install on modern Windows. Unlike the Baldur's Gate games, Planescape hasn't gotten an HD refresh. You can install the game easily enough, but getting it to run effectively is another matter. Thankfully, one GOG user has posted a straightforward, detailed guide to everything you need to run Planescape: Torment today.
- Step one: grab the game on GOG.
- Step two: read on to the next section for the must-have Planescape: Torment fixes and enhancements.
Run it in high resolution
In most Pixel Boosts, I run through the essential fixes for older games and solutions to the most common errors. In the case of Planescape: Torment, though, GOG member ThunderPeel2001 has already written a guide so detailed and easy to follow, it's what I used to install the game myself.
That's the guide to follow, and I can't do it any better. But if you want to the short version of what each modification does, here is it, in the order they should be installed:
- Bigg's Widescreen mod: Lets you run Planescape at whatever resolution you desire. Warning: If you have existing save files, this will invalidate them, but it does offer an option to update save files to be compatible. Back them up, just in case.
- Ghostdog's UI mod: Turns out, when you run a low-res 2D game at high resolution, the font becomes tiny and unreadable! While the UI as a whole is going to be small and hard to see, with Ghostdog's mod, you can choose to scale the text size up 20% - 120% larger than its normal size. At 1440p, I chose 80%, and the font is readable, but still fairly small.
- Ultimate WeiDU Fixpack: Bugfixes, bugfixes, bugfixes.
- Qwinn's Unfinished Business patch: Adds content that was cut from the original release.
- Qwinn's PS:T Tweak Pack: some tweaks that make the game a bit more user-friendly with tons of options, like stacking items, making stats easier to understand, adding quicksave, and more. Some options, like disabling battle music or adding rest anywhere, will significantly alter the game experience.
Each of these mods is linked and explained in ThunderPeel2001's guide (seriously, read it).
Keep in mind that the higher your resolution, the harder Planescape's graphics and UI will be to parse. I don't recommend going over 1080p—as you can see in the screenshots below, things get awfully teensy tiny.
All of the mods listed above are essential to playing Planescape: Torment today. Most of the mods out there for the game are actually built to make it more playable, not to dramatically add or change features. If you want more, there are a few you can find at Sorcerer's Place.
Planescape: Torment at 2560x1440
These screenshots were taken on my home PC, running on a 1440p monitor. If you have a 1080p or 1440p monitor, you may find the game more playable at a lower resolution, like 1440x900. The game won't be as sharp, but pre-rendered backgrounds can only scale up so well, anyway--and the UI will be much easier to see!